Collateral Damage: Refinancing Constraints and Regional Recessions
In the current structure of the U.S. residential mortgage market, a decrease in property values may make it very difficult for homeowners to refinance their mortgages to take advantage of declining interest rates. In this paper, we show that this form of collateral constraint has greatly reduced refinancing in states with depressed property markets. We outline the interaction between regional recessions and refinancing constraints.
The Centralization and Decentralization of Government and Taxes
Can today’s policy makers and researchers effectively draw on the ideas of 19th-century philosopher Henry George to help solve 21st-century problems? This compendium presents eight essays by scholars who demonstrate that many of George’s ideas about land use and taxation remain valuable today. Policy makers still face Henry George’s fundamental challenge—to balance private property rights and public interests in land.
Housing Partnerships: A New Approach to a Market at a Crossroads
The authors of this book propose the development of new markets, called Partnership Markets, that would allow households to use equity finance to buy their homes. With these new markets, a household would be able to finance housing not only with a mortgage, but also with an institutional investor who would provide part of the equity capital for the house in exchange for a share of the ultimate selling price.
Reinventing the Central City as a Place to Live and Work
Public policies for urban development have traditionally emphasized investment in physical infrastructure, the development of large-scale commercial facilities, the construction of new housing, and the renewal of existing neighborhoods. Most efforts to revitalize central cities by building new facilities for visitors have focused on suburban commuters and tourists. At the same time, many housing initiatives in central cities have concentrated on low-income communities because outlying suburban areas have attracted traditional middle-income households.
Public Characteristics and Expenditures on Public Services: An Empirical Analysis
This article investigates the provision of police and education services using a new method of indexing quantities of local public services that isolates movements in shadow prices and quantities in expenditure data. Demand equations for two public characteristics (the crime safety rate and high school reading test pass rates) and two categories of expenditures (education and police services) are simultaneously estimated for New Jersey municipalities. The relationship between public services and public characteristics is estimated, and both the “own” and the “cross “-effects of public services are found to be empirically significant. Increases in expenditures between 1982 and 1983 are found to largely reflect increases in quantities of education services and in prices of police services.
The Outlook for the Metropolitan Area
Much of the discourse about regional and local economic development strategies in the United States over the past twenty-five years has looked like a search for general rules. Very few such rules have emerged, in part because—like all policy debates—there have been large inputs of ideology and self-interest, as well as professional inquiry, but in part because the appropriate strategies really are time- and place-specific.
Coming to the Nuisance or Going to the Barrios
The environmental justice movement asserts that low-income and minority neighborhoods are exposed to greater risks from environmental hazards than other neighborhoods because of racism and classism in the siting of locally undesirable land uses (LULUs), the promulgation of environmental and land use regulations, the enforcement of those regulations, and the effort spent on cleaning polluted areas. These claims, and the movement’s demands for a more equitable distribution of environmental “goods”, like clean air, and of environmental “bads”, like waste facilities, are increasingly central to deliberations about environmental and land use policy in the United States. President Clinton signed an Executive Order in February 1994 that requires every federal agency to “make achieving environmental justice part of its mission….” The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created a national Environmental Justice Office, the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee, and environmental justice coordinators within each of its departments and regional offices in order to address environmental justice issues. Environmental impact statements prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 5 (NEPA) now address environmental justice concerns. At least seven states have adopted legislation regarding environmental justice, and many more are now considering such legislation.
Readings in State and Local Public Finance
This is the first collection of readings in the economics of state and local public finance in almost thirty years. The scope of the thirty pieces is broad, including both classic and current articles. The articles fall into three broad categories: public choice and fiscal federalism, revenue sources and the fiscal condition of cities.